Caring for your Brass Instrument
Taking proper care of your Brass instrument is a must in order to ensure years of enjoyable play. Here are a few easy steps to keep your instrument in its best playing condition at all times.
Keep your instrument safe
- Cases keep instruments safe from drops and other accidental damage.
- Instrument stands allow for a safe resting place during practice time
- Do not keep excess items in your case. Any items stored in your case need to be secured in an interior compartment. Loose items can rattle around in the case causing damage your instrument.
- Never store books in your case. The case is designed to securely hold your instrument alone. Books placed on top of your instrument and closed in the case can cause an array of problems due to excess stress on the instrument.
- Avoid extreme temperatures: Very hot or cold temperatures can affect the functionality of your instrument.
Keep your instrument dry
- Condensation gathers inside of your instrument as you play. Be sure to expel any condensation remaining inside your instrument both during practice and before returning it to the case.
- If the exterior of the instrument gets wet be sure to dry it off with a towel. DO NOT close it in the case until you are sure it is dry. Wet environments allow for the growth of mold and mildew.
Keep your instrument clean
- Remove finger prints and dirt from your instrument regularly. Use a soft polishing cloth to remove fingerprints and dirt from the exterior of your instrument. Be sure to use a polishing cloth for the specific finish of your instrument, lacquer and silver are the most common.
- Use a cleaning rod or cleaning snake periodically to remove build up from the interior of your instrument. Build up left in your instrument over time can lead to structural problems.
- Have your instrument professionally cleaned annually. Professional cleaning services are available at our repair shop. The use of professional cleaning equipment allows us to easily and safely remove build-up from the interior of your instrument.
Keep your instrument properly lubricated
- Grease your tuning slides at least once a month. Tuning slide grease keeps corrosion and dirt from building up on your tuning slides. Failure to grease your tuning slides can cause them to stick. If you do encounter a stuck slide, DO NOT force it, this can cause serious damage. Stuck slides can be easily pulled and lubricated by our repair shop.
- Piston Valve Instruments: Oil valves before each use. It only takes a few drops of valve oil on each valve to keep them functioning properly. Though most valves are numbered, oil one valve at a time to avoid mixing them up.
- Trombone: Apply a small amount of Trombone slide lubricant to your inner hand slide tubes before each use, to help improve your hand slide action. Before returning your Trombone to the case wipe off any slide lubricant you have remaining on the hand slide. When possible swab out your outer hand slide to remove excess lubricant.
Know when to have your instrument serviced
- It is recommend to have your instrument serviced twice a year. Keeping a set maintenance routine can help avoid larger more costly repairs.
- If your instrument experiences any trauma. Bumps and drops can cause serious harm to your instrument, even if it is not visibly evident.
If your instrument is not operating properly, such as:
- Slides or valves stick or become sluggish
- Your instrument sounds or feels “stuffy”.
- Parts become damaged or are missing